NVIDIA had their turn, but today AMD went and announced their next generation of video cards. AMD's RDNA3 cards were announced today and the initial launch has two cards: Radeon RX 7900XT and Radeon RX 7900XTX.
AMD's going for good performance-per-watt and going with a chiplet design like in their CPU. That means that are going to use a mixture of parts that make sense in the design of the new video cards. With the CPU, they are using a 5nm design and going with a 6nm design for the memory cache. With the changes on the RDNA3 cards, AMD boasts an up to 54% improvement over RDNA2 in performance-per-watt.
For IO, AMD will be shipping the cards with DisplayPort 2.1, something I think NVIDIA should have done as well. AMD is going to be the first company to use DisplayPort 2.1 on their cards with Intel being the first to use DisplayPort 2.0 on their Arc cards, but VESA recently said anything that was DisplayPort 2.0 certified is now DisplayPort 2.1 certified and... it's just confusing at times. Standards man. Anyways, DisplayPort 2.1 will be on the RDNA3 cards to allow for 8K at 165Hz and 4K at 480Hz. That's some crazy refresh rates for some high resolutions. 54Gbps of bandwidth will be available through DisplayPort 2.1 offering up plenty of room for things such as VR headsets if and when those devices support DisplayPort 2.1.
Something that I am happy to see is that the two new cards have a USB-C port. As one who plays a lot of VR, it's nice to be able to utilize this plug with some on the headsets such as the HP Reverb G2. NVIDIA cards stopped including a USB-C port last generation, so I'm happy to see AMD continue to offer it on their cards.
Content creators will like that RDNA3 has hardware encoding and decoding of AVC and HEVC. AV1 up to 8K60 will be available as well. AI will help encode video so it can have the best quality available at very good speeds. Export times are almost cut in half over RDN2.
For the flagship card, the Radeon RX 7900XTX features 96 compute units running at 2.3GHz (presumably this is the boost clock) and has 24GB of GDDR6 memory on board with a peak bandwidth 5.3tb/s. This will be great for high resolution, large high quality texture gaming. The numbers that AMD were talking about at the announcement were between 1.5 and 1.7X over the RX 6950XT at 4K gaming. For ray tracing, they had 1.5 or 1.6X performance, which is we're talking about the RX 6950XT, it's going to lag behind their competitor by a bit still. Power wise, it has a TDP of 355W, much lower than the Geforce RTX 4090. And instead of using the 12VHPWR connector that's in NVIDIA's cards, the RDNA3 cards will have the more common connectors with two 8-pin power connectors needed on the RX 7900XTX in case anyone was worried about adapters.
The Radeon RX 7900XT features 20GB of memory with 84 compute units running at 2GHz (again, presumably the boost clock). So 4 less GB of memory and running 300MHz less per CU than the RX 7900XTX. The rest of the specs are the same. This card will run on even less power with a TDP of 300W.
Now, pricing is really interesting. The Radeon RX 7900XT will cost $899 while the Radeon RX 7900XTX comes in at $999. That's a lot less than the cost of NVIDIA's flashship cards, but how well do they perform? Until we reviews get posted, we'll have to speculate on if these cards are priced accordingly to the other companies' cards or if they are performing better than the competition at the same price point.
December 13th, 2022 will be when the cards are available and you can be sure I'll be keeping a close eye on these two.
AMD also showed off FSR3, their take on up-scaling to achieve better frame rates. FSR2 works really well and I use the tech in a few of my games on the Steam Deck to achieve better performance. So it's great to see them continue to advance this tech and I can't wait to see how FSR3 does.
Lower latency is a hot topic these days and AMD is looking to make it easy to not only achieve lower latency but to improve performance. HYPR-RX is their one button solution to let gamers easily get better performance and lower latency without having to jump through a lot of hoops to do it. This should be out sometime early next year.
So, a lot of cool stuff coming from AMD and the two new cards look solid and seem to be priced well compared to the competition. Hopefully, reviews will be out soon and we can get some more cards into consumers hands after a rough 2021.